Proving a Dental Malpractice Claim
Like other healthcare providers, dentists don’t commit malpractice just because their efforts were not successful or less successful than hoped. The patient must show that the bad result was caused by the dental professional’s failure to exercise the degree of care and skill which is expected of the of a reasonably prudent dentist in Washington acting in the same or similar circumstances. In addition, this negligence by the dentist must be a proximate cause of the injury to the patient. RCW 7.70.040. Proving this almost always involves the expert testimony of another dental professional who has knowledge of the standard of care in the same field.
Injuries From Dental Malpractice
Damages from malpractice may be physical injuries, such as defective bridges or crowns that cause harm to teeth or gums, improper or needless extraction of teeth, and injuries to the nerves of the jaw, tongue, and lips. Damages may also be financial, the cost of correcting the dentist’s mistakes, and non-economic, such as pain and suffering.